Can Pistola bakery: 75 years open and a promising future, thanks to the next generation of bakers

Can Pistola is an emblematic bakery in the municipality of Lloseta, responsible for one of the most memorable cremadillos in Mallorca, and other traditional sweets such as ensaimadas and cardinals, as well as bread baked in its own stone oven.

The Can Pistola bakery in Lloseta has just celebrated its 75th anniversary, thanks to the fact that the original owners were lucky enough to find a generational successor in one of their youngest and most enthusiastic employees. In 2006, Miquel Ramon Oliver, the second generation of owners, handed over the baton to Manuel Muñoz and his wife, Antònia Maria Estrany.

Can Pistola is an emblematic establishment with several points of sale in the village. The first oven was opened in 1947 in Carrer del Murull, which was later moved to Carrer de Guillem Santandreu. Nowadays, this place serves as the centre of operations and its bakery produces the famous Can Pistola cremadillos, with both traditional and innovative fillings, as well as all kinds of traditional sweets, including ensaïmades, cardinals, and various types of cakes and tarts, not forgetting its own bread baked in a stone oven. The other two shops are located on Avinguda de El Cocó and Carrer de Joan Carles I.

Manuel started working in the bakery when he was just 19 years old, while studying Geography at the UIB. He knew the baker’s and pastry chef’s trade because from a very young age he spent many hours of his holidays in the bakery of his aunt’s bakery in Malaga, his parents’ place of origin. He remembers those days as follows: ‘I have an aunt in Malaga and my family used to spend the Easter and summer holidays there. We used to spend our summer holidays in a small village of about 220 people. So, the question was, either do baking or get bored. So, when I was 7 years old, I would climb up on a chair and start doing my own thing”.

Miquel Ramón went to look for Manuel at his house because he was looking for people to work. “And he said to me: ‘Keep studying, it’s better than being a baker, but if you feel like it, you can come. As I had always liked it, I started. I started when I was 19. I was good at studying, but I really like my job”. The owner delayed his retirement until Manuel and Antònia’s third child was born “and just when the child was three months old, Joana and Miquel retired. If it hadn’t been for the generational change, this business would have closed down”, says Manuel.

While we are doing the interview, several customers come in looking for cremadillos and tell us that they are taking them to Palma, so that they can wrap them well. The current owners have made the business grow, and the key, they say, is that they have had the desire to work, to move forward and, moreover, they have done it with youth.

There are about five employees in the bakery. Manuel and Antònia share the management tasks. Manuel is in charge of production, employees, orders and other operational matters, while Antònia is in charge of the administrative management of the company, taking advantage of her academic training, as well as the shops and customer service.

The decoration of the oven leaves no one indifferent. They are committed to using natural materials and zero-kilometre products. These days, the oven in Carrer de Guillem Santandreu, where this interview takes place, is sporting a spectacular Christmas decoration, made even more festive by the 75th anniversary.

Antonia and Manuel faced a heavy workload at Christmas, typical of these dates, and they were open every day. During these days they prepared many ensaimadas, cocas de patata and roscon de reyes. They also bake dozens of roasts that the villagers bring with them to bake to perfection. As a curious fact, they point out that the roscón de reyes has increased in number in recent years: “I remember making 24 roscones de reyes one year and now we make around 400”, says Manuel.

In addition, due to his Malaga heritage, Manuel has successfully introduced the city’s traditional pastries, such as fried roscos, torta de aceite or torta de chocolate. Our interviewee explains that until 15 or 20 years ago, half of the population of Lloseta came from the town of Antequera in Malaga, for whom Manuel’s aunt’s recipes are authentic delicacies capable of moving them.

Manuel and Antònia see a bright future for their work, although they are aware that there is a shortage of people to work as night bakers. “If there is a desire to work, I see a lot of future”, says Manuel.  On December 11, Can Pistola celebrated its 75th anniversary by inviting the whole village and customers from all over the island for refreshments.